First Trailer For ‘Unflinching’ Kurt Cobain Film ‘Montage Of Heck’ (Exclusive)

Tom Butler
Senior UK Writer

After making its debut at Sundance earlier this year to rapturous critical acclaim, we’re incredibly thrilled to bring you the first trailer for ‘Cobain: Montage of Heck’ the first ever fully authorised documentary about the life of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain.

Watch it above.

Director Brett Morgen worked with closely Kurt’s friends and family including his daughter Frances Bean (now 22) to create the most intimate portrait of the doomed rocker ever committed to film. 

The documentary features acres of previously unseen or rare footage of the Washington-born musician, including new music and home video footage shot at home with Courtney Love and his daughter, along with new animations created specifically for the film.

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It’s an unflinching portrayal of the grunge star who tragically took his own life in 1994 aged 27, and the director told us this warts and all approach was only possible thanks to being granted final cut of the documentary.

He promises ‘Cobain: Montage of Heck’ won’t “perpetuate any myths or romanticize his drug use” but will finally help to “identify the man behind the myth.”

Read the rest of our exclusive Q&A with director Brett Morgen below.

What can we expect to learn about of Kurt? Is there anything new that audiences may not have seen before?

“Roughly 85% of the material that audiences will see in Montage of Heck has never been seen or rarely seen. This includes several audio cues, portions of a recorded autobiography, a Cobain cover of The Beatles “And I Love Her,” extensive home movies of Kurt’s childhood and never before seen interviews with Kurt’s father, mother, and sister. The film also features never before seen footage of Kurt at home with Courtney and Frances.”

What was the most surprising stuff you found out about Kurt?

“Kurt was known to the world as a musician, but before that and after that he was an artist. He worked in just about every form of media he could including painting, sculpting, filmmaking, sound collages, cartoon strips, short fiction, journal writing, photography, and of course music. Like any artist, Kurt left behind a visual and aural autobiography of his life. It was embedded in his work. Given how expressive he was across so many platforms, his life works makes a complete cinematic canvas that invites the viewer to take a journey through Kurt’s interior world.”

How did you get access to all this new material?

“Kurt’s family, Courtney and Frances, as well as his mom and dad, provided me with the bulk of the materials that make up Montage of Heck.  It was a unique situation in that I was granted final cut of the film, which I believe is significant in several respects.  Given the access I had to Kurt’s primary sources as well as the people he was most intimate with during his lifetime, I believe this might be as close to Kurt as we are likely to get.”

Was there any material that was too dark to go in?

“Above all else, Frances and I wanted the film to be honest.  We did not want to perpetuate any myths or romanticize his drug use, so the film takes a rather unflinching approach to some dark times.  The goal however was not to look down upon Kurt, or put him on a pedestal.  I wanted the audience to be able to look him in the eye, to identify the man behind the myth.”

Why did you avoid going into his death?

“The film ends in Rome, where Kurt attempted to take his life just a month before he died.  I believe the reasons that contributed to his attempted suicide in Rome were deeply connected to what transpired after.  And for me, at that point, the story was complete.  That said, while no one can ever really know why someone ultimately decides to end their life, I think viewers will leave the film with a more complete picture of Kurt as well as a deeper understanding of why he might have chosen to take his life at that particular moment in time.”

'Cobain: Montage of Heck' is coming to cinemas on 10 April.

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Image credits: Universal